A selection of recent artworks created by 15 faculty members of the Department of Art at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ will be featured in an exhibition at the University Galleries in the Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts from September 7 through December 3, 2021. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, October 17 and Saturday, November 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Thursday, September 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. A virtual conversation with the exhibiting artists will be held on Tuesday, September 21 from 1 to 2 p.m.
On view in the Court Gallery, this exhibition features work by faculty who teach animation, drawing, digital art, graphic design, textile design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The works in the exhibit reveal the faculty’s unique artistic practices as they innovate across diverse media.
This year’s exhibition features new work from Stephanie Beck, whose work explores connections between the human body and architecture. Her contribution, an abstract sculptural “drawing” executed in various found woods titled Bridle/Nape/Nave, explores the lines and structures shared between the human body and the built environment and how we relate to the structures we inhabit. Wooden hinges allow a chain of found material to curve, sag, and fold as they are pulled toward the earth, settling into their own weight, evoking the body’s heaviness, and simultaneously contrasting with fixed rectilinear segments that evoke architectural forms. Beck, currently a resident artist at ChaShaMa’s Space to Create in Brooklyn, NY, received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a post-baccalaureate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a BA in art history from the University of Virginia.
Interdisciplinary artist Rita Leduc presents a triptych of drawings she realized in her home studio three years after participating in a residency at PLAYA in Summer Lake, OR, where she worked in a dried saltwater basin in Oregon's High Desert during peak wildfire season. Leduc's work characterizes idiosyncratic intersections between self, place, and time through the accumulation and conflation of physical, psychological, and phenomenological experiences with chosen locations. Leduc earned her MFA in visual art from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, a post-baccalaureate certificate in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BA in fine art from the University of Pennsylvania.
William Paterson University alumna and professor Robin Schwartz returns to the faculty exhibition with images of her favorite subjects captured during the pandemic lockdown: “My stuff is about Amelia and my animals. It’s who I am. This is my daughter and my animals but more confined,” she says. Domestic scenes and subjects—familiar to all of us these last 18 months—are transformed through Schwartz’s eye, revealing intimate aspects of daily life, luminous and unobscured by the monotony of confinement. Schwartz received her MFA in photography from Pratt Institute.
Timothy Blunk debuts a new publication and short film documenting his participation in the Fluxus happening Fire 1000 Poems. A performance for the project involving music composition and video installation was staged and livestreamed from Theater HochX in Munich, Germany in November 2020. Blunk’s work draws on his experiences as a former U.S. political prisoner, exploring themes of isolation and protest. He curated and organized his first exhibition from his cell in USP Marion, making use of his extensive correspondence to solicit and collect artworks from political prisoners in 17 countries around the world. He went on to obtain his MFA from William Paterson University, and is now adjunct faculty and director of Gallery Bergen, Bergen Community College.
Other faculty artists included in the exhibition are Gianluca Bianchino, Cristina de Gennaro, Eileen Foti, Barbara Friedman, Andrea Geller, Ashley Gerst, Juan Giraldo, Carl Jablonski, Vanessa Nilsson, and Leslie Nobler.
The exhibition is one of two on view concurrently in the University Galleries. On view in the South and East Galleries is Sierra of Creation, featuring video and installation art by three Mongolian artists addressing climate change.
This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print educational materials are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654.
# # #
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470